CU marching band readies for return

Former MJHS student Rebekah Muncher is a rising sophomore at CU. She and her fellow bandmates will be a part of the Phoenix Marching Band’s rebirth on Saturday, Sept. 1.

It’s back. Cumberland University has resurrected their marching band.

New director and Cumberland alum Wayne Ray has been working with the 30-plus band members in the final weeks before the fall semester begins.

Ray was the marching band field commander at Cumberland while studying as an undergraduate. The Virginia native was in his high school marching band, and continued his passion as a graduate student at Old Dominion University.

Now, he has returned “home” to Cumberland.

“Here I am,” he said on Wednesday. “I am back at it.”

Ray has spent nearly a year working to re-establish the program. Recruiting members of the band takes time and research. He has been working with CU Vice President of Enrollment Management and Director of Athletics Ron Pavan to find and recruit these 34 students.

“It is our first camp back in six years. A lot of these kids have not marched before, or they haven’t marched since high school, so we are refreshing their memory,” Ray added.

“This is our start-up year. We will be performing at every home football game. I also talked to Lebanon Public Safety about scheduling game day parades, where we march from campus to the stadium.”

Rebekah Muncher is a rising sophomore at CU. She is a graduate of Mt. Juliet High School, where she was a member of the marching band. Jarrett Folkerts is a graduate of Lebanon High School attending Cumberland, as well.

Both said they were excited to be a part of the band once more.

“We are excited. It is going to be good,” said Muncher, who plays the trombone. “We found out about it last year, that they were bringing it back. They held a meet and greet.”

Folkerts plays the tuba and said this year is going to be great.

“I love doing band,” he said.

The first performance of the Cumberland University Phoenix Marching Band will take place at the first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 1 versus Union College.

Lifestyles Editor, Main Street Media of Tennessee

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